So this month has been bittersweet. I’ve had opportunities to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments.
Yet my heart has been heavy because my Mom’s birthday was this month too. I know the bible says we get three score & ten, she had that and more. I’ve struggled because I selfishly wish she had even more.
I miss her. I miss the times she showed me how to do life. Like budgeting my money to make sure my salary last all week. Like the smart way to run errands as to save gas. Like rooting for our favorite team even though they’re the underdog. Like being courageous, even when it feels like life has given you a bushel of lemons.
I watched her add flair & sass to make the best of many situations. I tried it this month but I can’t help it, I miss my Mom and that’s how I’m living.
Watch the entire YouTube video to the end before you start the project.
Be your own craft influencer.
At the beginning of the pandemic I found myself going to the fridge way too much. I’m going to blame the Pacific Northwest weather and the overabundance of Skype/Zoom/Team meetings. So in an effort to keep the COVID-19 pounds to a minimum and a desire to express myself, I started crocheting. It was something I learned as a child and thought it would be easier than painting.
Two years later I find that I most enjoy crocheting while watching sports or attending yet another Zoom/Teams meeting. Real talk, crocheting during the game keeps my hands too busy to partake in the chips & dip. Or texting my friends when I’m in one of those long mandatory meetings.
I’m not doing this to sell on Esty or at the local Farmer’s Market, I’m doing this for me. I have thought to give a few pieces as gifts to close friends & family or even to donate some to a local shelter, but I’ll see how God leads me. And I’ve gotten fancy with my projects too. I figured they’re artsy so I started naming my pieces. You never know what will be in a museum to represent life during the COVID pandemic in 100 years.
The picture below was my first attempt once I remembered some of the stitches. A crude rendition of a square but hey, we’ve all got to start somewhere.
Some Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Crocheting:
Have a project in mind before you buy the yarn. If not, it may sit for six months before you do anything with it.
Buy the yarn on sale. Repeat, buy the yarn on sale.
Have a crochet or crafting buddy. Sure you can talk about the price of yarn and keep each other accountable too.
Watch the entire YouTube video to the end before you start the project. And then one more again to make sure you really understand it.
Don’t worry about the trends, take time to discover what you like about crocheting. Be your own craft influencer.
Bonus – did ya’ll know you can get yarn and stuff from Goodwill or Value Village?
…heap burning coals on the heads of those that perpetuate domestic terrorism.
This time-out, like in sports, would stop them from making stupid comments or making rash decisions.
So in preparation for this post I wanted to get the correct dates for the Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, NY and Brooklyn, NY shootings. My heart clenched when I came across an article from The Washington Post that said there had been over 250 mass shootings as of 2 June 2022(https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/06/02/mass-shootings-in-2022/). That is not only shocking but devastating as well. Yet, here I am with a heavy heart and feelings to work though.
On 12 April, I heard the news about the shooting in the subway in Brooklyn. I started praying, selfishly at first, for my siblings and their families to be safe and unharmed. Then my prayers went out to the 10 people reported as wounded. Then, because I know the subway wasn’t empty, I continued praying for the injured and transit staff. After I prayed, I had a thought which I’ll share later in the post.
On 14 May, I heard about another NY shooting, in Buffalo, in a supermarket. I’m calling it a massacre because of steps taken by the shooter beforehand. Again I prayed for the situation, only this time, my heart was heavier. I kept thinking about the grandchildren that would miss the hugs from their grandmother. I kept thinking about the veteran and how on November 11th things would be different for his family this year. I kept thinking of the young lady that lived through the pandemic and overcame leukemia, only to die going to the grocery store. This time I had a couple thoughts.
On 24 May, I was in the middle of a big work project when I heard about the shooting in Uvalde. As the tears started falling, the project wasn’t so big anymore. I still prayed because it really hurt to think about another school shooting happening. Damn it people, there’s no prize to the state with the most shootings. Another school shooting caused a lot more thoughts. I wish they were poetic but nope, they are genuine and may step on some toes. Consider yourself warned.
My first thought, on April 12th was that somebody needed to do something different to prevent stuff like this from happening. So I asked God to heap burning coals on the heads of those that perpetuate domestic terrorism.
On May 14th my thought was that once again domestic terrorism was at work. I was thinking that the AR-15 manufactures, retailers and NRA lobbyist need to explain themselves to that community. Maybe they needed to sit in a room, face-to-face with the survivors and hear the outrage, the overwhelming hurt and sorrow from the community. Oh yeah, they needed hot coals too.
So on May 24th I was really in my feelings. I wondered, how much more hate can happen in this country? I wanted to ask God to put such hateful people in Sheol and then into the Lake of Fire, but that’s for Him to work out. Then, with a little inspiration from the NBA (the playoffs were happening), I thought we should treat our three branches of government like athletic team coaches. You know, if a coach doesn’t take their team to the conference finals, the playoffs or wins a big title in a certain amount of time, they’re fired. Like Mr. Spacely did George Jetson on the regular (https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/b64e98cb-4a24-4fe3-b048-3430d4ddf1b6). Unlike Mr. Spacely, we as voters could ensure anyone from the fired team didn’t get immediately rehired. I know there are more details to work out but hey, given what we have now, my idea could work.
Since then, when I hear of other shootings, I think that our government officials, the gun lobbyist, the NRA, the gun retailers and manufactures all need a time-out each time there’s a shooting. They would have to sit in glass cubicle wearing headphones, listen to the 911 calls about gun incidents from all over the USA and view the funerals, memorial services and eulogies of those that died. This time-out, like in sports, would stop them from making stupid comments or making rash decisions. And just like when a parent puts a child in time-out, we’d expect some change in behavior. God knows, we need them to think about what they’re doing. Or maybe they need to be in a naughty chair, like the Supernanny, Jo Frost uses. She used it to help families regain order in their homes, to help families get better.
….like Benita Buttrell from In Living Color, I see everything.
Hey, you’ll never guess what I saw on Sunday.
So after church service I went home to chill and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest, surprisingly warm, Spring day. Late in the afternoon as I was getting snacks ready to watch the NBA playoffs when I looked out my kitchen window and saw a peculiar occurrence.
My backyard borders the neighborhood park and with our old-school metal fence, like Benita Buttrell from In Living Color, I see everything. Even stuff I don’t want to see. Like one day a couple moths ago I saw two girls dancing, on the tether ball pole. Last month I saw some teenagers trying to ride their bikes over the picnic table, without a ramp. But last Sunday what I saw surprised me.
So there I was, looking out the window while pouring butter over my popcorn, when a little boy goes down the slide, looks left & right, then makes a dash for my fence line. He proceeds to pull down his pants and takes a whiz. Yes, the little boy, I’m sure he was younger than eight, just peed out in the open!
I’m wondering if I’m in for more strange sightings on the playground this summer. I’ll be sure to let you know.
And it wasn’t the smell of the grill because I’d been to many other family gatherings, picnics, BBQ’s and cookouts over the years, but I’d usually have a burger.
I present to you my Mother’s Day dinner this year!
Now before you start comparing it to yours or start judging it, let me tell you why it was the perfect dinner for me.
So almost 33 years ago I was at the post-exchange in Darmstadt, Germany. Just a regular Saturday shopping, making a payment on my lay-a-way and picking up movies, the VHS type. I could smell a grill and went to see what they were selling. I saw hot dogs, burgers and chicken. I immediately thought a hot dog with mustard and ketchup was the best meal ever and ordered two. As I sat at a nearby table I thought how I hadn’t had a hot dog in like ten years; I missed them and this one sure was good! Then I remembered why I stopped eating them and two thoughts came to mind.
One day back in 1980, at a family gathering, the sun was shining bright, the music was blasting…picture Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff’s, “Summertime” video. I was sitting with the cousins, trying to hear the adults conversation, playing UNO, eating hot dogs, chips and drinking orange soda. I think I ate like six hot dogs straight, a total of ten for the day; and no, I don’t know why. When we left for home that night, I was sick. Sick of eating, sick of hot dogs and sick of orange soda. My Granny gave me some peto-bismol, put a cool cloth on my head and asked me if I learned my lesson. Boy did I ever! I swore off hot dogs and orange soda for years.
So as I sat at the table, I thought ten years is a long time not to eat a favorite food. Like why now did I want a hot dog. After all, it’s not like there was a hot dog shortage or something. And it wasn’t the smell of the grill because I’d been to many other family gatherings, picnics, BBQ’s and cookouts over the years, but I’d usually have a burger. I was thinking “can’t blame on the sunshine, I’ll blame it on the boogie”, in my Jackson 5 voice. It was our first year in Germany so maybe I was a little nostalgic. And then a surprising thought came to me. I didn’t have a taste for a hot dog, I had a craving for a hot dog. “Hey girl”, my mind said to me, “you’re pregnant!”
Well that night I told my husband and he nodded and laughed in the right places so I’m sure he thought my story was crazy too. But here we are 33 years later with a lovely, creative and tender-hearted daughter that knows how to grill hot dogs. So yes, that’s the perfect Mother’s Day dinner for me.
Earlier this month we experienced some really nice spring days, with lots of sunshine and high 60 degree temperatures. Add the daylight savings change and it was great. So great that I spent a lot of time on my patio and found that I forgot to take the meat out for dinner. Thank God my Pinterest board includes recipes for just this type of situation.
I found something that I’d wanted to try for the last two years, yes it is COVID motivated. For a warm sunny #PNW spring day I planned to make chicken croquettes or fritters, depending on who you ask. Some say a a croquette is a dumpling, filled with chicken, breaded and deep fried. Some say a fritter is chicken, flour, egg, seasoning and pan fried. Either way, my recipe was a mix of both, a perfect spring time dinner and it was good. So good that I didn’t get any left overs.
Have you tried any canned meat recipes lately? Yup, you see a bite on one, that’s all I got; and that’s how I’m living, with no leftovers.
So let me tell you an Easter story. Make no mistake this is not the Easter story, but just something that happened to me during Holy Week a few years back.
One year I was working as a Finance Specialist with a big organization that help wounded soldiers. The supervisor came to me on Wednesday and said she’d like me to work overtime that Saturday. I looked at her and told her, no I cannot. She asked why so I told her. *Please note this was early in my walk with Christ. So my reaction, I’m sure could have been better.* So I told her no I could not work overtime Saturday because I was busy. She got even noseier and asked me what I was doing. I turned right around with a neck roll and told her I was doing what every black woman was doing in America on Saturday before Easter Sunday; I was getting my hair done.
On Thursday, she announced that the whole team would have to work overtime on Saturday. I wasn’t going to trip with her so I called my braider and asked her if I could reschedule. Awesome, she was able to move me to an appointment later Saturday afternoon. The next day I left early to prepare for our Good Friday service and the supervisor was sure to say, “see you tomorrow. ”
So early Saturday morning we were in the office processing finance actions so the soldiers wouldn’t incur a debt. All went well, we worked through lunch and we left by 2:30 pm. I got to the hair shop just as a few ladies were leaving so it wasn’t too crowded. That’s always a plus; for me it meant less dryer time (I know somebody knows what I mean)! My braider did a really good job on my hair; washed all that work stuff away. She gave me a cute updo and sent me on my way in two hours. I was ecstatic because that meant I had extra time to prepare dinner for Sunday.
I went to church the next day and reflected on the goodness of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. The good part, the loving part, the gracious part of Holy Week was that God allowed me to serve the soldiers, get cute for Him and put extra money in my pocketbook.
I’ve grown so much since that year. I’ve learned more about what the Resurrection truly means. I have more appreciation for the cross and now when I prepare for Resurrection Sunday, I know it’s more that cute hair and a big dinner. Now that’s how I’m Living, redeemed.
Y’all I’m thinking I might need to cutback on my Lifetime or SVU consumption.
So here’s what happened. I went into the office a few days back and when I got there I noticed some lights were on and a coworker’s laptop at my work station. I was thinking, hmm, what’s going on? I’m usually the only one in that early. Then my imagination took flight in wondering what had happened to her?
I was thinking, did somebody come in and harm her? But she wasn’t scheduled to be in the office that day nor does she come in that early. Then I thought did another coworker get angry and hit her over the head with a book or something, was she laid out on the floor in another part of the office? Did the security camera catch anything? And oh shoot, I touched several surfaces, did a smudge the fingerprints?
My brain was in overdrive and had all the things happening that I had seen from TV shows and movies. So ya’ll, come to find out she was fine. She’d gotten busy and had just forgotten her laptop the day before. As for the lights, someone had covered a sensor in their office, so it stayed on all night.
So yeah that’s how I’m living, on a diet of less SVU and Lifetime.
At the beginning of the year I didn’t make any resolutions. Actually, it’s been over 20 years since I felt the pressure to say I was going to improve on something in my life. You know, the usual goals like losing weight, getting a promotion or stop spending so much money. I look back and see why I failed and I’m okay with that. I’ve grown and I’m more intentional about improving my life. That is until year two of the pandemic. Now, as Spring 2022 is just around the corner (hopefully with consistent warmer weather), I’ve got a few new goals for my vision board.
#1 – Drink the coffee while it’s hot; only one reheat allowed per day. Sipping a hot cup brings me a little joy and don’t we all need a little more joy in our day?
#2 – Walk around, but not to the fridge…again. Real talk, can’t say I’m trying to be healthy and most of my steps are just to the fridge. Got to make a change (in my Michael Jackson, Man In The Mirror voice) and start walking outside. Even 10 minutes of cloudy vitamin-D energizes me.
#3 – Remember to check the mute button, especially if you’re trying to catch a few Golden State Warrior highlights on ESPN or playing your favorite game for a quick minute. Yeah, I almost got busted but only one other person knew what I was doing. Now I’m laughing, I wonder if he was a Bucks fan?
So that’s how I’m living, anxiously awaiting warmer northwest spring weather with a few new goals. Like Wendy Williams says, how you doing?